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List of United Cable channels (Downriver Detroit, January 1987)

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Parent Page: List of Retro Cable lineups in the United States

United Cable Television Logo.svg

In January of 1987, United Cable customers in Gibraltar, Lincoln Park, Riverview, Trenton and Woodhaven, Michigan had access to the channels listed below. United was bought out by Tele-Communications Inc. in 1992, and was resold in 2000 to AT&T Broadband and then in 2002 to Comcast. Today, these areas are serviced by Comcast through Xfinity.


  • CALL — The call letters of an over-the-air television station in bold text.
  • CABLE — Cable channels in regular text.
  •  ##  — Over-the-air channel number for stations within the Detroit television market, according to current laws by the FCC and mapping of markets by Nielsen Media Research. Also, some stations may service areas outside of the television market as well.
  •  ##  — Over-the-air channel number for distant out-of-market stations, including regional and national "superstations", according to current laws by the FCC and mapping of markets by Nielsen Media Research.
  • Network affiliated stations will have the network's logo (of the corresponding era) next to them and independent stations are unmarked.
  • Channels only available in Gibraltar and Woodhaven and NOT available in Lincoln Park, Riverview or Trenton.


The Detroit television market includes 9 counties in Michigan with market hubs in bold text, though its stations also service 3 counties in Ontario, Canada, those counties and areas are NOT officially part of the market:

  • Michigan:
    • Counties: Lapeer, Livingston, Macomb, Monroe, Oakland, Sanilac, St. Clair, Washtenaw and Wayne
    • Cities: Allen Park, Ann Arbor, Auburn Hills, Bloomfield Hills, Brighton, Capac, Carleton, Chelsea, Clawson, Dearborn, Detroit, Dexter, Dundee, Eastpointe, Ecorse, Farmington Hills, Ferndale, Flat Rock, Fowlerville, Grosse Pointe Woods, Harper Woods, Highland Park, Howell, Imlay City, Inkster, Lapeer, Livonia, Luna Pier, Madison Heights, Marine City, Melvindale, Metamora, Monroe, Mount Clemens, Northville, Novi, Oak Park, Pontiac, Port Huron, Port Sanilac, Riverview, Rochester Hills, Romulus, Saline, Southfield, Southgate, Sterling Heights, St. Clair Shores, Taylor, Utica, Warren, Waterford, Wixom, Woodhaven, Wyandotte and Ypsilanti
  • Ontario:
    • Counties: Essex, Chatham-Kent and Lambton
    • Cities: Amherstburg, Belle River, Charlemont, Chatham, Dawn Valley, Deerbrook, Elmstead, Emeryville, Essex, Haycroft, Kennedy Acres, Kingsville, LaSalle, Leamington, Oil City, Oil Springs, Petrolia, Point Edward, Sarnia, Tecumseh, Thornyhurst, Tilbury, Wallaceburg, Wheatley and Windsor


Sources: YouTube
CH# Name Notes
2 CBS Eyemark.svg  2  WJBK-TV Detroit Currently a Fox network owned-and-operated station (since 1997), owned by Fox Television Stations
(WJBK-TV became the Fox affiliate in a major mass-affiliation deal starting in 1994, sending its former CBS affiliation to
then-independent  62  WGPR-TV, which CBS acquired outright in 1995, renaming it WWJ-TV, while also making former Fox
affiliate (and now CW network O&O)  50  WKBD-TV an independent once again (briefly) until the launch of the UPN television
network (also a network O&O) in January of 1995, initially only an affiliate, Fox acquired both the station and then-owner
New World Communications directly and outright in 1997, making WJBK-TV a network owned-and-operated station with
the "-TV" suffix removed from the call letters, now as WJBK in 1998)
3 ESPN A 24-hour channel devoted to local, regional, national and international sports
(Owned as a joint venture between The Walt Disney Company at 80% and Hearst Communications at 20%)
4 NBC Peacock 1986.svg  4  WDIV-TV Detroit Still an NBC affiliate, owned by Graham Media Group
(WDIV is the oldest active television station in the state of Michigan, having signed on in March of 1947 as WWDT)
5 The Nashville Network
A channel once focused on country music and lifestyle, it now operates as a general entertainment
channel as Paramount Network, owned by Paramount Global
6 Pay-Per-View Information Defunct
7 American Broadcasting Company Logo.svg  7  WXYZ-TV Detroit Then and now, still, an ABC network affiliate owned by The E. W. Scripps Company
(Sister station to independent station  20  WMYD (then known as WXON-TV in 1987), was an original ABC O&O station
alongside WABC-TV in New York City, KABC-TV in Los Angeles, WLS-TV in Chicago and KGO-TV in San Francisco (all of
which are also on  7 ) until it was sold in 1986)
8 USA Network Then and now, a general entertainment and sports channel, now owned by NBCUniversal
9 CBC 1986.png  9  CBET Windsor, ON, CAN Then and now, still, a CBC network O&O, owned by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
10 The Discovery Channel Still operates today with a program mix of technology, science, nature and reality, and its name
shortened to just Discovery (also occasionally known as Discovery Channel), owned by
Warner Bros. Discovery
11 Music Television (MTV) Owned by Paramount Global, like its sister network, VH1, MTV has also shifted from strictly music
and music videos in its early years to a mix of music, reality shows and dramas in recent years
12 Cable News Network CNN in Atlanta, an American multinational news channel, owned by Warner Bros. Discovery
13 Cable Value Network Defunct, a home shopping channel (also known as CVN), bought out by and folded into
former rival QVC in 1989
14 Electronic Program Guide Today operates as Pop, a general entertainment channel, with programs focused on popular culture
(The scrolling guides for which the network was legendary for were phased out over the years, at least on the network)
15 Nickelodeon Today owned by Paramount Global, schedule then and now, still consists of programming towards
children and teenagers up to 18 years of age
Nick at Nite Programming initially consisted of 1950s and 1960s shows but shows from later decades added in
the years and decades since, owned by Paramount Global
16 Video Hits One Now only as VH1, owned by Paramount Global, it has also shifted from strictly music and music
videos in its early years to a mix of music, reality shows and dramas in recent years
17  17  WTBS Atlanta, GA The direct OTA feed at the time, now as WPCH-TV, owned by Gray Television
(Both the station and the TBS network (short for Turner Broadcasting System), were separated from each other in 2007,
TBS today, is owned by Warner Bros. Discovery)
18 Home Box Office A premium pay subscription network, owned by Warner Bros. Discovery
(Home Box Office is still used as the network's legal corporate name, though it operates on-air and online
exclusively by the acronym HBO)
19 Showtime A premium subscription channel with movies, shows, documentaries and sporting events,
owned by Paramount Global
20 The Movie Channel A premium pay subscription channel with classic, mainstream and independent movies
(Sister and companion network to Showtime, owned by Paramount Global)
21 The Disney Channel Originally a premium pay subscription channel, Disney is now a general cable channel
22 Cinemax Sister and companion network to HBO, owned by Warner Bros. Discovery
(A premium pay subscription channel with mainstream, independent and original shows, movies and documentaries)
23 Pro-Am Sports
Defunct, also known as PASS Sports, ceased operations on November 1, 1997
(Shut down after losing all rights to major Detroit sports teams (Pistons, Tigers and Red Wings) to then-upstart Fox
Sports Detroit
, then owned by Fox, now operating today as Bally Sports Detroit, now owned by Diamond Sports
, a joint venture between Sinclair Broadcast Group and Entertainment Studios)
24 American Movie
Today operates only by the acronym AMC, shifted from originally exclusively classic movies (as a
pay channel) towards movies, shows and original programming (as a general cable channel)
(Split channel, exact carriage hours unknown at this time)
Christian Television Network
of Detroit
Operated over-the-air on a low-power station at the time,  26  W26AB (now  28  WLPC-CD), now
operating as The Impact Network, owned by husband and wife Glenn and Karin Plummer
(Over time, it dropped the CTN name because of the existence of the national network of the same name, split channel,
exact carriage hours unknown at this time)
25 Arts & Entertainment Once a channel focused on arts and history, the channel has shifted significantly
towards reality shows, dramas and documentaries, now known only as A&E
(The flagship network of A&E Networks, a 50-50 joint venture between Hearst Communications and Disney
General Entertainment Content, a division of The Walt Disney Company)
26 Pay-Per-View A Pay-Per-View channel, likely defunct
27 Pay-Per-View A Pay-Per-View channel, likely defunct
28 Public Access A local cable access channel
29 CNN Headline News Once a companion network to CNN with news headlines, programming has shifted
mostly to crime and law oriented shows and documentaries in recent years as HLN,
owned by Warner Bros. Discovery
30 PBS 1984.svg  30  WGTE Toledo, OH Then and now, still, a PBS member station, one of two PBS stations in the Toledo market,
the other being  27  WBGU out of Bowling Green, owned by the Public Broadcasting
Foundation of Northwest Ohio
31 Lifetime Programming geared towards women and women in lead roles of movies and shows
(Owned by A&E Networks as a 50-50 joint venture between the Hearst Corporation and The Walt Disney Company)
32 TVOntario 1975.png  32  CICO Windsor, ON, CAN A repeat transmitter of CICA in Toronto, as CICO-DT-32, now on channel 19
(The network's name has since been shortened to only TVO, CICA is also on  19 )
33  9  WGN-TV Chicago, IL The direct OTA feed at the time, then and now, an independent, now owned by Nexstar Media Group
(Its later cable counterpart, WGN America, has since been rebranded and relaunched as NewsNation)
34 Government Access A local cable access channel focused heavily on local and state government affairs
35 Educational Access A local cable access channel with educational programs
36 The Weather Channel Weather forecasting and science and in recent years, weather related shows and documentaries as well
(Also with local weather alerts and local forecasts every ten minutes on the 8s of every hour, owned by Entertainment Studios)
37 CBN CBN Cable Network was spun off by the Christian Broadcasting Network and operates today as
Freeform, owned by The Walt Disney Company
38 C-SPAN A channel entirely focused on federal government and public affairs pertaining to the United States
House of Representatives
, including live coverage of proceedings
39 C-SPAN2 A channel entirely focused on federal government and public affairs pertaining to the United States
, including live coverage of proceedings
40  20  WXON-TV Detroit An independent station once again, as WMYD, owned by The E. W. Scripps Company in a
duopoly with ABC affiliate and former network O&O  7  WXYZ-TV
(The station had previous affiliations with The WB (1995-2006) as WXON-TV and later WDWB and MyNetworkTV
(2006-2021) before becoming an independent station once again)
41 Trinity Broadcasting
Now operating by the acronym TBN
42 PTL The network folded in 1989 and was relaunched in 2015, owned by televangelist Jim Bakker
43 American Christian
Television System
Merged with Vision Interfaith Satellite Network to form Faith & Values Channel, which later
became Odyssey Network before being sold to Hallmark Cards and becoming the modern-day
Hallmark Channel
44 Local Origination A local cable access channel, replaced by other cable access channels ever since
45 Financial News Network Financial, consumer and business news and stocks, sold to NBC and absorbed/integrated into
CNBC in 1991
FNN Score Sports programming from 6:00 pm to 1:00 am (Eastern Time) Weeknights (1985-1988) and
12:00 pm to 1:00 am on Weekends (1988-1991), shut down after NBC began integrating
FNN into CNBC in 1991
46 American Broadcasting Company Logo.svg  24  WNWO Toledo, OH Currently an NBC affiliate, owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group
(Swapped affiliations with  13  WTVG after that station was bought by ABC directly and outright in August of 1995,
Capital Cities/ABC was then acquired by The Walt Disney Company the following year)
47 CBS Eyemark.svg  11  WTOL Toledo, OH Then and now, still a CBS affiliate, owned by Tegna
(Also operates Fox affiliate  36  WUPW, owned by American Spirit Media, under a Shared Services Agreement, the sale of
WTOL, the Services Agreement with WUPW and the company itself to Standard General still pending as of December 2022)
48 NBC Peacock 1986.svg  13  WTVG Toledo, OH Currently a dual ABC and CW affiliate, owned by Gray Television
(Swapped affiliations with  24  WNWO after ABC bought WTVG directly and outright in August of 1995, Capital Cities/ABC was
then acquired by The Walt Disney Company the following year, was network owned-and-operated from 1995 to 2011)
49  62  WGPR-TV Detroit CBS affiliate since 1994, O&O since 1995 as WWJ-TV
(Was the first African-American owned and operated television station in the United States, also part of duopoly with CW
network O&O  50  WKBD-TV, owned by Paramount Global)
50 Fox (1986).svg  50  WKBD Detroit Now a CW network owned-and-operated station, owned by Paramount Global
(WKBD would briefly become an independent station once again before joining UPN as a charter O&O after its Fox affiliation
moved to  2  WJBK in late 1994, sending the latter's CBS affiliation to WGPR, now network O&O and sister station  62  WWJ-TV,
WKBD would reinstate the "-TV" suffix (as WKBD-TV once again) in 2009 after having previously dropped it from its
call letters in 1984)
51 PBS 1984.svg  56  WTVS Detroit Then and now, still, a PBS member station, owned by the Detroit Educational Television Foundation
52 Home Shopping
One of America's two major home shopping television networks, now only as HSN, the other being QVC
53 Home Shopping
Network 2
A companion network to HSN, now known only by the acronym HSN2
54 NOAA Weather Defunct, likely a fullscreen weather radar from the National Weather Service
(Split channel, exact carriage hours unknown at this time)
The Playboy Channel Today known as Playboy TV, though still a premium pay subscription channel focused entirely on
adult erotica and pornography
(Split channel, exact carriage hours unknown at this time)